10/23/2017.- Catalan director Fèlix Colomer, who obtained a Special Mention in the last edition of the festival with his feature film Sasha, has returned to Seminci to release his documentary Shootball, which is competing in the History Time section.
This film tells the story of Manuel Barbero, the father of a sexual abuse victim, and of Joaquín Benítez, the pedophile who abused his son along with twenty other children. Félix Colomer addresses the key figures of this story with a journalistic research perspective. Due to legal obstacles at the time of editing, creating this work was not easy. “The idea for this documentary was inspired by An Open Secret, a documentary about the sexual abuse of children in Hollywood more than 15 years ago,” said Colomer. “The main objective of this documentary is to tell the truth, and to give a voice to all the parties involved who wanted to share their testimony, without descending into banalization or sensationalism. We have never looked for morbid fascination,” he added.
In addition, the filmmaker says that most of the victims feel guilty. With Shootball, he has tried to help change this mentality and to raise awareness of how important it is to speak up so that society can empathize with them.
On the other hand, it is the first time that a pedophile offers share his story. Although Colomer says that it was not easy to convince Joaquín Benítez to take part, he adds that “Benítez is a showman who loves to see himself and to be a part of the drama. However, the biggest impact from his participation is how it demonstrates his coldness and the naturalness with which he talks about the subject.”
“Unfortunately, he is still out there, free, and my son has not been able to leave his room for five years out of fear. The Maristas case has been exponential, every day more and more cases have come out. The institution has had the opportunity to do things properly many times, but it has not done so,” said Miguel Barbero.
Manuel Barberó, creator of the organization Mans Petites, lamented that “something is not being done well when one in five children is sexually abused before they reach the age of 18, and when only 10% of these cases make it to trial. School abuse can not be hidden, society and victims must act very quickly.”